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bigcol

stern gland

27 posts in this topic

Have been boating for years

 

15+years on the coast with stern drives though

4 years so far on the canals

1st 2 years on a boat that had water cooled stern gland??

 

But now have been told that everytime you run the engine with conventional stern gland,

you have to tweak the greaser every time you used the boat?

 

Is this right??

 

I ve got another small boat up for sale and twice ive seen the stern gland dripping, played with the greaser and it hasnt stoped, so booked a mate/engineer to repack it, he comes and its stopped!!!

 

PS Ive checked the boat this morning, and its still behaving it self

 

 

 

thick col

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Have been boating for years

 

15+years on the coast with stern drives though

4 years so far on the canals

1st 2 years on a boat that had water cooled stern gland??

 

But now have been told that everytime you run the engine with conventional stern gland,

you have to tweak the greaser every time you used the boat?

 

Is this right??

 

I ve got another small boat up for sale and twice ive seen the stern gland dripping, played with the greaser and it hasnt stoped, so booked a mate/engineer to repack it, he comes and its stopped!!!

 

PS Ive checked the boat this morning, and its still behaving it self

 

 

 

thick col

 

I can't say if it's definitely correct practice BUT it is what we were always told as hireres and is something I've carried on ever since....I always get at least a turn or two.

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At the end of the day, after using the boat, then a tweak of the greaser is a good idea.

 

To be honest I do not always do it.

 

The procedure, I was told and do, is take up the 'slack' until pressure is felt then ½ to 1 turn and the job is done.

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Have been boating for years

 

15+years on the coast with stern drives though

4 years so far on the canals

1st 2 years on a boat that had water cooled stern gland??

 

But now have been told that everytime you run the engine with conventional stern gland,

you have to tweak the greaser every time you used the boat?

 

Is this right??

 

I ve got another small boat up for sale and twice ive seen the stern gland dripping, played with the greaser and it hasnt stoped, so booked a mate/engineer to repack it, he comes and its stopped!!!

 

PS Ive checked the boat this morning, and its still behaving it self

 

 

 

 

 

 

The extent of my experience is not a patch on your but the first time I rented a boat I was told to turn the greaser until is felt slightly tighter, did is every morning when checking the weed hatch. I never sank but then again, neither did you.

 

 

 

thick col

Edited by Burgiesburnin
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I think hire boaters are normally instructed to give it a bit of a twist at the end of each days boating ?

 

Certainly so when I worked for a hire firm.

 

I'd suggest a degree of common sense is involved.

 

iI you just use the engine mildly, know the gland seldom drips, and will be boating again next day, I'd not be obsessed about it.

 

If you have slightly worn gear, or packing, and have been thrashing the living daylights out of it for hours, I think I'd definitely aim to do daily, simply to reduce any leakage there could be.

 

Back to OP, though, there is usually a half way house between "greaser not fully stopping drips", and "need to re-pack gland". They can of course also be adjusted, (usually by slightly tightening down a couple of nuts), so if "a bit of a turn on the greaser" doesn't totally stop the drips, that is the next thing to try. If kept propetly maintained, a full re-pack should be very rare indeed, unless it is a very high mileage boat.

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At the end of the day, after using the boat, then a tweak of the greaser is a good idea.

 

To be honest I do not always do it.

 

The procedure, I was told and do, is take up the 'slack' until pressure is felt then ½ to 1 turn and the job is done.

Exactly right

 

A properly set up stern gland should never drip,the greaser is to lubricate the (usually) bronze bearing behind the packing

 

grease will act as a temporary method of stopping or slowing a drip.

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Is this right??

 

Yes, broadly speaking. But as Alan says, the next thing to try is to tighten the nuts on the two studs that keep the collar in place. This will compress the packing material a bit more.

 

 

By the way, are you the same poster as Big COL?

 

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showuser=40

 

Just wondering.

 

 

Mike

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The main job of the grease is not to keep the water out, that is the job of the packing. The grease is to reduce wear of the shaft. Not greasing it will increase the wear, causing more leakage and early failure of the stern gear and shaft. The grease is worked out of the tube by the rotating movement of the shaft, bit like the Archimedes Screw effect. Greasing the stern gear is important, and should be done frequently.

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Hi there all

 

Yes thanks for the replies, its all about knowing your stern gland :unsure:

 

 

And yes theres 2 of us on the forum Big COL and then theirs me bigcol

 

thanks all

 

So what was the correct answer then???

 

 

Col

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Hi there all

 

Yes thanks for the replies, its all about knowing your stern gland :unsure:

 

 

And yes theres 2 of us on the forum Big COL and then theirs me bigcol

 

thanks all

 

So what was the correct answer then???

 

 

Col

 

 

Great, thats confusing then innit! Thanks for clarifying.

 

The correct answer is 'YES'

 

 

 

Mike

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You say a ''small boat''big Col. Many small wooden,GRP or indeed metal boats have a different type of ''Grease type stern tube, the same but different though''.Instead of two pusher adjuster nuts on studs their might be just a large domed type of pusher nut surrounding the shaft with locking back nut and screwed directly onto the tubes body,adjusted by either large spanners,Stilsons, pipe grips,or a special C spanner.

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Hi Bizzard

 

This problem was on a old life boat 1903 !!

 

I will try to take a pic and post it re the gland

 

My mate says hes never seen anything like it

 

I know the prop is inside a big steel substantial circilar protector tube

that turns with the prop when tiller is used??

 

Col

Edited by bigcol
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Exactly right

 

A properly set up stern gland should never drip,the greaser is to lubricate the (usually) bronze bearing behind the packing

 

grease will act as a temporary method of stopping or slowing a drip.

 

In 30 years of yachting, the consensus was that a manually greased stern gland should drip about once a minute, and should feel warm, but not hot, in use. The choice seemed to be "just dripping", or, "just not dripping". The former seemed easier to achieve than the latter where, if you tightened it to stop the dripping, it may be too tight, thus wearing the prop shaft.

 

I always felt more comfortable with a slow drip which, if it became a faster drip, suggested the gland needed either tightening, or repacking.

 

Now I have a supposed maintenance free gland, which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable :)

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The main job of the grease is not to keep the water out, that is the job of the packing. The grease is to reduce wear of the shaft. Not greasing it will increase the wear, causing more leakage and early failure of the stern gear and shaft. The grease is worked out of the tube by the rotating movement of the shaft, bit like the Archimedes Screw effect. Greasing the stern gear is important, and should be done frequently.

 

What he says. To keep the water out you tighten the flange. You give the greaser a turn for lubrication. The only times you use the greaser to stop a drip is 1. If the packing needs replacing or 2. The stern gland is worn. In both cases this is only a temporary measure until a proper repacking or repair is made.

 

Mind, I've been involved in old working boats where temporary was a loose term.

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In 30 years of yachting, the consensus was that a manually greased stern gland should drip about once a minute, and should feel warm, but not hot, in use. The choice seemed to be "just dripping", or, "just not dripping". The former seemed easier to achieve than the latter where, if you tightened it to stop the dripping, it may be too tight, thus wearing the prop shaft.

 

I always felt more comfortable with a slow drip which, if it became a faster drip, suggested the gland needed either tightening, or repacking.

 

Now I have a supposed maintenance free gland, which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable :)

Yes,the dripping gland is a common ocurrence

 

As i said before a correctly installed and maintained gland should NEVER drip,once bedded in and adjusted in the proper fashion

 

Maybe the drip makes yachties thirsty,so they turn the greaser a few times and depart to the nearest source of alcoholic beverages?

Edited by cereal tiller
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The main job of the grease is not to keep the water out, that is the job of the packing. The grease is to reduce wear of the shaft. Not greasing it will increase the wear, causing more leakage and early failure of the stern gear and shaft. The grease is worked out of the tube by the rotating movement of the shaft, bit like the Archimedes Screw effect. Greasing the stern gear is important, and should be done frequently.

 

Actually that's a bit debatable. Certainly with older boats, the bearing was essentially water lubricated & the grease was mainly to lubricate the packing and keep the water out. Any grease finding its way into the bearing would be a bit of a bonus. Modern narrowboat sterngear has rather shorter bearings in relation to their length & grease is more important, but there must be quite a few out there where there's more water than grease.

 

Tim

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Actually that's a bit debatable. Certainly with older boats, the bearing was essentially water lubricated & the grease was mainly to lubricate the packing and keep the water out. Any grease finding its way into the bearing would be a bit of a bonus. Modern narrowboat sterngear has rather shorter bearings in relation to their length & grease is more important, but there must be quite a few out there where there's more water than grease.

 

Tim

Have always considered the grease to present to lubricate the bearing and to keep the packing from becoming too waterlogged

 

The greaser tube usually delivers the lubricant to the centre of the bearing,only a small amount is required to reduce wear.

 

any excess of grease should find it's way to the outside of the boat via the stern tube.

 

One common cause of rapid packing wear is the shaft moving back and fro,thrust bearings eliminate any linear movement.

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This was covered in the RCR boar engine maintenance course (presented by Tony Brooks) - see his excellent website on he subject http://www.tb-training.co.uk/10sgear.htm#bmn30 So don't just turn the stern gland but occasionally tighten the packing. I watch the engineer repack the gland on the engine service but forgot the part about tightening the screws - otherwise the stern packing would last for ever which is not the case.....

 

Good course and well worth attending.

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Actually that's a bit debatable. Certainly with older boats, the bearing was essentially water lubricated & the grease was mainly to lubricate the packing and keep the water out. Any grease finding its way into the bearing would be a bit of a bonus. Modern narrowboat sterngear has rather shorter bearings in relation to their length & grease is more important, but there must be quite a few out there where there's more water than grease.

 

Tim

 

 

Water lubricates? That is a new one to me. Cooling perhaps, but lubricating..? And what kind of technolitgy relies on grease finding it's way to the bearing by change.... :blink:

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Water lubricates? That is a new one to me. Cooling perhaps, but lubricating..? And what kind of technolitgy relies on grease finding it's way to the bearing by change.... :blink:

 

Water definitely lubricates certain items.

 

When my yacht was out of the water in 2009, if I turned the prop, the cutlass bearing squeaked. Throwing a bucket of water along the shaft, and into the bearing, stopped the squeaking.

 

The grease is under pressure on the prop shaft. As tha shaft turns, the grease spreads around, and along, the shaft. Over time, as it spreads more thinly, the pressure reduces, and more grease is neaded, hence tightening the screw on the grease container.

 

Not a difficult concept.

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Water definitely lubricates certain items.

 

When my yacht was out of the water in 2009, if I turned the prop, the cutlass bearing squeaked. Throwing a bucket of water along the shaft, and into the bearing, stopped the squeaking.

 

The grease is under pressure on the prop shaft. As tha shaft turns, the grease spreads around, and along, the shaft. Over time, as it spreads more thinly, the pressure reduces, and more grease is neaded, hence tightening the screw on the grease container.

 

Not a difficult concept.

 

 

Yes, I mentioned that earlier. It's known as the Archimedes screw effect.

 

As for the lubrication, I will top up my engine oil with water tomorrow, but can I use any water, or does it need to be tap water?

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Yes, I mentioned that earlier. It's known as the Archimedes screw effect.

 

As for the lubrication, I will top up my engine oil with water tomorrow, but can I use any water, or does it need to be tap water?

 

Water is quite a good lubricant at low pressures. Old Narrow Boats, as I've mentioned, had longer stern bearings than modern boats so the pressure was lower.

 

Ships used to use Lignum Vitae or Cast Iron for stern bearings, with water lubrication, there are modern composite materials available for the same job. I suspect that older Motor Narrow Boats had Cast Iron bearings, but they had generally been sleeved with bronze before I saw them. They were provided with a simple grease cup, enough to lubricate the gland but nowhere near sufficient to supply grease for the whole bearing.

 

Of course water would not be an adequate lubricant for internal combustion engines.

 

 

Tim

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Stern glands of a conventional nature, should drip a littke. One or two drips every now and then.

Water both cools and lubricates.

The grease does both lubricate and seal. If there is not drio then the packing it prob too tight, will absorb power and heat up reducing the life of both the bearing and the packing. Correctly adjusted and greased packing will have a very long life in our non salty environment. As an example, my stern gland is I feel, perfectly adjusted. Since we acquired her in Dec 2009 After an initial adjustment check, I have not had to adjust the stern gland ever. At the end of the day's running I turn the greaser until it is stiff. I get a little water leaking in during use which is fine. The grease both lubricates for the next period of use and forms a seal to stop the drips.

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Hi guys,

 

My stern gland drips at a steadily at rate of around a drip a second after running for a few hours and I usually have to run the bilge pump after a days use. I tighten the greaser at the end of each days running ( I was told it's best to do it after running when everything is warm). This does not fully stop the dripping bout slows it to around 5 second intervals and I'm now wondering if I need to tighten the gland packing screw.

 

Am I correct in thinking that to adjust the packing I simply tighten the brass ring in the centre of the photo (This was taken when I viewed the boat prior to purchase hence the dry bilge) and if so how do I judge how tight it right? Any advice very welcome. I'm currently moored on the Thames waiting for the stream to ease so an ideal time for these little jobs.

 

 

Stern%2520Gland.jpg

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Hi guys,

 

My stern gland drips at a steadily at rate of around a drip a second after running for a few hours and I usually have to run the bilge pump after a days use. I tighten the greaser at the end of each days running ( I was told it's best to do it after running when everything is warm). This does not fully stop the dripping bout slows it to around 5 second intervals and I'm now wondering if I need to tighten the gland packing screw.

 

Am I correct in thinking that to adjust the packing I simply tighten the brass ring in the centre of the photo (This was taken when I viewed the boat prior to purchase hence the dry bilge) and if so how do I judge how tight it right? Any advice very welcome. I'm currently moored on the Thames waiting for the stream to ease so an ideal time for these little jobs.

 

 

Stern%2520Gland.jpg

 

It looks as though there's a locking ring which will need to be slackened off before you can tighten the gland.

If your shaft turns freely by hand, tighten the gland until it gets a bit harder to turn & then ease it back a touch.

Retighten the locking ring afterwards.

 

Check the gland doesn't get more than warm after a short run (best to do this with the engine stopped, elfin safety).

 

Tim

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